During the late '50s, Ella Fitzgerald continued her Song Book records with Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book, releasing a series of albums featuring 59 songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Those songs, plus alternate takes, were combined on a four-disc box set, Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book, in 1998. These performances are easily among Fitzgerald's very best, and for any serious fan, this is the ideal place to acquire the recordings, since the sound and presentation are equally classy and impressive.
This 1959 release from pianist Oscar Peterson is one of several albums he recorded in the 1950s dedicated to specific composers. Peterson revisits many of the same songs he included on an earlier Gershwin album, backed on these sessions by Ray Brown on double bass and drummer Ed Thigpen.
This programme features concert music by composers who also wrote film scores for Hollywood. While this was just one string to the considerable bows of Gershwin and Copland, Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman are best known for their music for Hitchcock films (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Marnie and Psycho for Herrmann; and Rebecca and The Paradine Case for Waxman). Centre stage is Gershwin’s Song-book, arranged by the composer for solo piano in order to present the songs ‘as George Gershwin plays them himself’.
This admittedly pricey – but by all means mandatory – Grammy Award-winning box set is the final word on the "songbooks" recorded by Ella Fitzgerald between 1956 and 1964. The audio contents have been completely remastered and each title has been expanded – wherever possible – to include previously unissued material.
In May of 2007 the Library of Congress gathered an unprecedented group of musicians together in Washington, D.C., to honor Paul Simon as the first recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
It is a crime that these pieces are not better known. They are extraordinary, of great depth, truly beautiful, and highly addictive. That's all I have to say. Great music performed with gusto. Classical training and virtuosity is self evident. I enjoyed this CD very much. Composer and lyricist Dana Suesse was a child prodigy, giving her first concert, a Rachmaninoff prelude, at the age of nine. At 16 she moved to New York and began composing songs.
Pauline Alpert was known as a "whirlwind pianist" during the novelty era. She played within orchestras and as a solo artist. She also appeared in movies and videos, and was a contributing artist to many musical releases. Here is a wonderful variety of selections recorded by the phenomenal Pauline Alpert taken from her 1940's 78's. They are very finely remastered, and the overall quality is outstanding. A highly recommended CD by this artist.